The following reports are colored by my personal preferences (I guess most are). Many are for Callaway Gardens as I guide fly fishing trips on the private lakes there. I also do guiding trips on the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers here in Georgia, among others. When the fishing is good there, you'll find me on the Tallapoosa in Alabama. And I also guide trout trips in north Georgia.
I fish West Point Lake some too, but exclusively with a fly rod. There are no reports that include far-flung locations on the lake (unlike some "bass-masters" on the lake I don't like to "set the water on fire" while racing from one spot to another). But there are a few "alternative species" report as I love to take those big carp (and cats) on a fly.
"Live like you'll die tomorrow (fish every day),
.....fish like you'll live forever (preserve the resources).
August, 2003 - The Flint is the best I have seen it in years - the water is clear to slightly stained. The fish are in slightly different places since, relative to past years, there is so much water now.
Callaway is on. The water levels are their highest in years, and the water temps have stayed reasonable all year.
Striper fishing is beginning to pick up on the rivers and will get better and better as the water cools. We have been catching `em on the Tallapoosa with pretty good regularity. Bearing in mind, of course, that striper fishing on the fly is always an iffy proposition. The fish are always on the move, and sometimes they are eating...and sometimes not. And then lots of times when they are, they bust you off! I've started rigging with bite tippets much of the time when fishing these rocky runs - not for the bite, but to protect a little from cut-offs on rocks. It has helped.
July, 2003 - The rains have slowed but not quit. Our water levels are at the highest in years for July. It has made river fishing tough, but the fish are in fantastic shape. The Flint is beginning to get fishable on a regular basis, and the high water has definitely agreed with them.
The stealth bomber continues to work exceptionally well for the shoal bass, and most of our biggest fish have come on it. Perhaps it's effectiveness is because the reduced visibility of the stained water has the fish looking up. The "Stealth" also pushes a lot of water and has a lot of action. My best color this year has been white, and there are a lot of small shad in the shoals right now.
There is a lot of insect activity on the Flint now, too. We were in a pretty good stonefly hatch the other day - lots of big yellow ones. Then a few days later, we saw a good many little golden stones. And the caddis are starting to show. We've seen a few flying and found many larvae in the water, plus many pupating in rock cases. Bug life like this 60 miles south of Atlanta is incredible.
Fished the Tallapoosa a few times. The striper activity is sporadic - but oh, man, are these big fish. Jason had one on last week that hit in a hard current and blasted off 100 yards of backing in the blink of an eye, running upstream. Then the leader rubbed a rock and he was gone. I bet that fish was over 25, and Jason knees still shake when he thinks of it.
Also managed to slip off to Charleston and fish with old friend Carter Nelson. We stalked the tailing redfish in the grass flats on the high tide.
June, 2003 - The rains are still coming - El Nino is working overtime. The fishing has been good, though. The rains have kept the small lakes full and the water temperatures down. We are still fishing springtime patterns, and (unbelievably) are still seeing some bass on the beds.
We have caught the Flint River fishable a few times this month. The water is much higher than normal and the fish are in great shape. I am still amazed by this river, even after fishing regularly for 25 years. It sure is good to be back.
On the Flint, the fish are mainly in the slower-current areas, and catching about equal numbers on topwater and subsurface. I'm fishing the my usual - a big topwater with a big black wooly dropped off the hook bend about 2-3'. But my primary topwater now is the stealth bomber instead of a chernobyl or big stimulator (though there are quite a few big yellow stones about). The "Stealth" work especially well with a dropper - it floats well to float the wooly, but when you strip it's diving action is enhanced by the weighted dropper.
May 2003 - Fishing has been good this year in spite of the rains. I've managed to get on the rivers between the deluges and we have caught some good fish - trout in the mountains and stripers on the Hooch. Callaway Gardens is not bothered by the heavy rains, as the lakes there do not muddy.
The hybrids were OK this spring above West Point, and exceptional below (probably still are. in fact, if the water will ever go down!).
We got on the Flint only twice between the floods, but when the water drops the fishing should be great.
2002 Reports 2001 Reports 2000 Reports
1999 Reports... January - June ........... July - December
1998 Reports... January - June ........... July - December
1997 Reports- October....September....August....July....June....May
My Five Star List of Fly Fishing Books
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